My son Jesse and I stopped at the AACA Museum (www.aacamuseum.org) in Hershey, while on our way home from the East Coast. We saw the museum’s current exhibition featuring vehicles from A. Ross Myers. Housed in Boyertown, Pa., and publicly known as “The 3 Dog Garage,” Mr. Myer’s collection is an eclectic and historically significant mix of antiques, classics, race cars and period hot rods, many of which were Hot Rod magazine cover cars in the 1950s and 1960s.
Ross Myers got his start in the old car hobby at an early age. His father had antique Fords, which now comprise part of his 3 Dog Garage Collection. In fact, all the vehicles in the collection began life as products of the Ford Motor Company or were purpose built as Ford race cars.
Mr. Myers purchased his first car in 1958; he was nine years old and the car was an incomplete 1936 Ford Three Window Coupe. The plan, to build a hot rod for high school, was shelved when a more complete early car came his way. He put the 1936 into his father’s barn where it remained for over 40 years. It reemerged in 2007 as “First Love,” the winner of the prestigious Ridler Award given annually at the Detroit Autorama for the most beautiful and significant new custom car. A ground-breaking work of automotive art, “First Love” and its special display serve as the centerpiece of the Treasures exhibition at the Museum.
This installment of the Museum’s Collector’s Series promises something for everyone. “First Love” will be joined by several nationally-known vintage hot rods, including “Dreamboat,” (1936 Ford), the Fred Steele Roadster (1932 Ford), “Romango” (1940 Mercury) and another 1932 Ford roadster once owned by the late singer/actor, Ricky Nelson. Race fans will appreciate the 1957 “Battlebird” a NASCAR-inspired Thunderbird that ran at the Daytona Speed Week, along with three competition Mustangs: 1969 and 1970 Trans Am Boss 302s with Bud Moore and Smokey Yunick history and the 1983 “Zakspeed” GTP prototype racer. Other highlights include a 1916 Model T Fire truck, 1936 Ford Dump Truck and a 1965 Shelby Cobra. All the vehicles are fully functional and the competition cars are raced at vintage events across the country. A complete vehicle list is available at the Museum’s website.
The museum hopes the 3 Dog Garage exhibit will serve as a springboard for this new “Collector’s Series” venture. The exhibition runs through March 15th, 2009.
Treasures from the 3 Dog Garage is the second in the Museum’s Collector’s Series, a program designed to showcase major, privately owned “collections with character”. The inaugural Collectors Series exhibit, installed in 2005, featured cars from the Nicola Bulgari Collection.
Treasures from the 3 Dog Garage – Vehicle List
- 1916 Ford Model T Fire Truck
- 1932 Ford Roadster Rick Nelson owned hot rod
- 1932 Ford Roadster “Fred Steele built” custom/hot rod
- 1932 Ford Coupe Pinan Farina (foreign) body
- 1936 Ford Three Window Coupe “First Love” Ridler Award Winner
- 1936 Ford Roadster “Dream Boat” custom/hot rod
- 1939 Ford Dump Truck Mild custom
- 1940 Mercury Coupe “Romango” mild custom
- 1957 Ford Thunderbird “Battle Bird” Daytona Speed Week Racer
- 1965 AC Cobra 289 Two-seat roadster
- 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Smokey Yunick-modified Trans-Am Racer
- 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Ed Hinchliff-built Trans-Am Series Racer
- Dune Buggy Unknown make and year, circa 1970
- Sidecar Motorcycle sidecar, unidentified at present